Friday, November 18, 2016
Bethesda is located in the Great Beyond, about ten miles from WODEN to the northwest and eighteen miles from port city of Canto to the southeast. For over two centuries, Bethesda has made a very successful living by raising and draining the xylon sap, known as Ur-Fuel, from Clemson Barrow, Orange Barrow, and Gold Barrow trees.
The town's citizens, nearly four-hundred, all participate in the industry either directly or by servicing it. Every five years, the town democratically elects a Foreman as leader. Yolanda Piers Monro, has been the Foreman for fourteen years and will run for reelection next year. Her current opponent is Reesha Kin Othello who represents a contingent who has grown tired of Monro's hiring freeze, preventing both new citizens to join the community and expand their operations. It's an age old battle, as many within Bethesda worry about the security of their town and can be highly distrustful of strangers.
This fear led Yolanda to enter into an agreement with WODEN seven years ago that upgraded their town and crop's defenses in exchange for five percent of the town. While many were critical of Monro's plan, their security and the technology behind it has never been better.
However, Monro's plan caused some trouble with nearby Canto, the closest port on the Tsar River. Canto has been working with Bethesda for two centuries and has only ever received a three percent cut. The city's Governor, Ahmed shin Thuul, has been rumbling about the contract with WODEN for years now and has even threatened to sever it's ties to Bethesda. However, Monro has thus far correctly guessed Thuul is bluffing and refuses to renegotiate. Thuul mistakenly hired the Gaffney Irregulars, a mercenary unit to try to threaten Bethesda, but WODEN's defenses proved to strong. Thuul has counted his blessings that the entire unit was killed and there is no proof of his involvement.
Bethesda, both the town proper and all of it's crops are behind a well fortified wall with several hundred Sentroid's of WODEN design. While the citizens enjoy a good living and prosperity, most of the profits immediately go back into the town itself, which every citizen has an equal stake in.
Barrow trees are hardy, grow quickly, and have an average height of sixty feet, and Ur-Fuel can be drained from them year around. Ur-Fuel can power most devices for close to a year with a single ounce. While it is harvested in many places in the Steadfast, Bethesda has the market cornered within the Beyond.